The Uncertainty Of Being Certain
“The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably deal with.” – Tony Robbins
Recently, I started an online video show to compliment my blog. I wanted to create an avenue for people to have conversations around topics related to ‘reconnecting to what matters’, as well as engage with some of the interesting people I was bringing on as guests.
The show has been going really well, with an average of over 500 views per show, over 3000 views total for the show so far, incredibly insightful guests, and stimulating conversations in the chat room.
I’ve been using a platform called Spreecast, and everything was going smoothly until last week.
As with all journeys, sometimes there are setbacks.
I was about to update all the previous episodes to include photos of my guests, when I noticed the links to the previous shows weren’t working. I emailed the Spreecast support staff, and they replied with the following heart-breaking email.
“This is Jeff Fluhr, CEO of Spreecast. I am deeply sorry to deliver this news. Spreecast made an internal error and your video files were mistakenly deleted. You will not be able to play your spreecasts created before Thursday, 11/22/12.”
I wrote a note to my previous guests letting them know that this wasn’t going to stop the show, and I would keep it going. I told them that we can just pretend the first few episodes were part of the Pilot Series, for a limited time only, and that I would have them all on the show again in the new year. The next day, I did another episode and started all over with my “first” episode, determined to build the show back up one amazing episode at a time.
This experience was yet another practice in detachment.
I realized that I could have been upset and enraged, blamed the Spreecast staff, given up on my show, or made up a story to tell my past guests about what happened to their episodes.
Instead, I reminded myself of the following choices I had:
1. Intentions vs. outcomes
With a show or a blog, it is easy to get caught up in a comparison game of numbers of followers, blog posts, or views on a video. Moreover, my video show was now non-existent, the traffic I had generated was lost, and the guests I had were disappointed. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the show didn’t make an impact or difference for the viewers.
With this in mind, I chose to re-focus on my intentions behind the show: to have a conversation, to showcase people in the community we can learn from, and to share insights on ways to reconnect to what matter. In doing so, I realize that even after losing my past videos, my intentions behind the show still remain, the guests of my shows still supported me and were willing to come back on the show; that viewers enjoyed the content; and that I still believed in the Spreecast team and platform as a great way to engage with others.
2. Empathy vs. Reaction
Losing the past videos did bring up tension, and unease in my body and mind. I felt helpless, upset, and disappointed. But instead of letting these feelings cloud my mind, I simply practiced witnessing them, almost as an observer. I watched these emotions rise, reach their height of expression, and then gently fall and melt away.
By witnessing these thoughts and feelings come and go, I was making a choice to be mindful and present. In not reaction in the moment, I was better able to see things clearly and empathize with the Spreecast team. I realized that I had had nothing but a positive experience so far with the staff as they truly helped me in many ways to get my show off the ground. I realized that this wasn’t their fault as individuals, but rather a situation that wasn’t completely in their control.
In making this person vs. situation distinction, I realized that I couldn’t do anything but practice empathy for compassion for them as they dealt with the aftermath of some of their community members losing their videos. I thought that my brand or show would be affected, but then I realized that the position they were in was far more difficult, and yet, they were able to remain honest, accepting, and professional in the process; which in some way inspired me to do the same.
3. Creating understanding vs. conflict
In response to the Jeff’s email (the CEO of Spreecast), I could have dug my heels, gotten upset, and written a fiery email back at him. I could have escalated the situation, blamed him for the problem, remained upset about what had happened, publicly defamed Spreecast, and never returned to them.
Instead, I expressed that although I was disappointed, I did understand. I asked him to clarify what exactly had happened to cause the problem, what they had done since, and he reassured me that the problem wouldn’t happen again. Over the course of a few emails back and forth, they regained my trust and confidence.
All in all, losing my show videos has been yet another invaluable reminder that there is often more uncertainty than certainty. I might think or wish otherwise, but the reality is that I can only do so much towards achieving my goals and creating the things I want to create. Things don’t always go to “plan”, but that can be a good thing. In my experience, I’ve learned that it is the trials and tribulations, the slip-ups and failures, and the moments that test me most that make the journey the best part.
How are you when things don’t go as planned?